Seminole County star RB Chris Brown rushed for a staggering 284 yards and three touchdowns in Friday night's 28-7 romp of Wilkinson County in the second round of the GHSA Class A state playoffs.
DONALSONVILLE -- The kids at Seminole County gave a whole new meaning to the term "Brown Out,'' on Friday -- and why not?
They're giving a whole new meaning to football in Donalsonville, where this group of kids -- these believers and dreamers -- became the first team in Seminole County history to reach the third round of the Class A state playoffs.
They didn't just reach it, they kicked the door down, ran over it, backed up the truck and ran over it again in a more-than-impressive 28-7 win against Wilkinson County, which came into Seminole County Stadium with a high-voltage spread offense and left town wondering who pulled the plug on them.
Turns out it was a Seminole defense that has been overlooked this season for the most part because the Indians were averaging more than 50 points a night and simply were running over teams.
That didn't change. Chris Brown had a career night, rushing for 284 yards on 24 carries. He scored on an 89-yard run, a 15-yard run on a fourth-and-six play, and put the game away midway in the third quarter with a 73-yard TD run that lifted the Indians to a 21-point lead.
"We decided not to go with the option, and went with our power game inside and just let Chris do his job,'' Seminole County coach Alan Ingram said. "He's just electrifying.''
That -- and more.
"He's amazing,'' said Howard Stephens, who had a monster game of his own on defense and also started as an offensive tackle. "I don't know what kind of speed he has. It's fast and faster. When he takes off I just look up and point to the end zone and watch him go.''
If you like irony, just look at the scene after the game when all the players were jumping and dancing -- dancing all the way off the field and onto the bus. Amid the joy and celebration, there was Brown walking quietly and taking a seat on the bus.
After all, he had done enough dancing all over Wilkinson.
"I didn't dance on the way to the bus,'' Brown said quietly. "But I was happy. It felt awesome to have that kind of game, and it feels awesome to know we made history. It's amazing that we are the first team from Seminole County to reach the third round of the playoffs. But it's not over.''
The Indians (11-1), who have now won 11 in a row, face No. 2-ranked Eagles Landing Christian Academy next Friday at a site to be determined. Ingram will drive more than 130 miles today and meet ELCA to flip a coin. The winner of the coin flip is at home next week in the Elite 8 quarterfinals.
"We're driving up I-75 to Exit 122 and meet somewhere to flip the coin,'' Ingram said. "I hope we're at home.''
Seminole has looked at home in the playoffs, where the Indians have outscored their two opponents, 90-28, in two games so far. They had to overcome a rash of penalties early on Friday, but Ingram said the early flags -- 76 yards of penalties in the first quarter alone -- against his team might have ignited his kids.
"We some calls early and it might have got (the kids) upset,'' Ingram said.
His team had to overcome flags all night and ended the game with 121 yards worth of penalties. Wilkinson was flagged 10 times for 90 yards, including 30 yards worth of unsportsmanlike conduct calls.
Wilkinson County coach James Hagins was upset with the officials and talked about it after the game.
"I don't think we got a fair shake in the officiating,'' Hagins said. "Every time we would have a long run we got a holding penalty, I think that was the difference in the game. I'm not a sore loser. We got beat, but call the game like it should be called.''
Seminole's defense stopped the Warriors all night. Wilkinson (9-3) managed just 14 yards of total offense in the second half, and ended the game with negative yards (minus 5) on the ground and just 108 yards in the air.
David Whipple, Wilkinson's brilliant quarterback, was sacked four times in the second half for 20 yards in losses, and he completed only four passes for 34 yards in the second half, including a 37-yarder to Raheem Dupree for Wilkinson's only first down after intermission.
Whipple completed only 11-of-31 passes all night for 108 yards. His 43-yard pass to Dupree to the Seminole 10 just before halftime set up Wilkinson's only touchdown, a 9-yard run by Whipple with 1:23 left in the half. Before his 43-yarder to Dupree, Wilkinson had accumulated almost as many yards (30) in pass interference calls as in completions (35 yards).
"They had two long passes all night, and that was it,'' Ingram said. "When (Whipple) completed that first long pass we had more yards in penalties than they had on offense in the game.''
It was that one-sided.
Seminole scored with 3:53 left in the first quarter on Antwan Buggs' 30-yard TD run that capped a 94-yard drive, and the Indians never looked back as Brown scored twice to give Seminole a 21-0 lead.
Seminole's defense did the rest.
"We kept their quarterback on his back,'' Stephens said. "Everyone was in a hurry to get back there and get to him.''
Ingram agreed that was the key.
"(Whipple) had been used to having a lot of time back there and having his own way, and we kept a lot of pressure on him,'' the coach said.
Brown had a big game on defense, too, but after his monster night he wanted to talk more about defensive back Murray Pearson than himself.
"Everyone on defense had a big game, and (Pearson) really stepped up (Friday night) and had a great game," Brown said. "That's the best game he has played, and has really been playing great in the playoffs. He's making a difference.''
The entire Seminole defense made a difference Friday, and turned what was billed as a shootout into a lopsided Indians victory.
"Our pride is our defense,'' said linebacker Andrew Ingram, the coach's great nephew. "Nobody runs on us. We had to win to make history. It feels great to be the first team.''
Then Stephens finished his teammate's sentence.
"Making history is great. They can put our names n the book, the first Seminole County team to get to the third round. We'll tell our children about this," he said.
Then he stopped and started again.
"But this is just the first chapter.''